Handlin Wants SCI To Investigate Allegations That Fulop Planned Traffic Jams At Holland Tunnel and Port Jersey

Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan has responded to his announced demotion by Mayor Steve Fulop by alleging that the mayor order traffic jams at Port Jersey and the Holland Tunnel.   That Cowan objected and interfered is the reason he is being demoted, he says, according to reports in the Jersey Journal.

Fulop announced plans to sue the Port Authority of NY/NJ for $400 million. Cowan’s attorney said Fulop’s plan was “designed solely to create havoc for the Port Authority.”

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) wants the joint legislative committee that is investigating the September 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures to investigate the allegations against Fulop as well.

In a letter dated today to Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Select Committee on Investigation,of which Handlin is a member, the assemblywoman asked that the committee immediately issue subpoenas to Fulop and Cowan

As you know, the mission of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is to “investigate all aspects of the finances, operations, and management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and any other matter raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power including, but not limited to, the reassignment of access lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge.”

Because the allegations against Mayor Fulop raise significant concerns about the repeated abuse of government power directly related to the Port Authority, I respectfully ask the committee to investigate this matter including the immediate issuance of subpoenas to Mayor Fulop and Chief Cowan.

Handlin’s letter can be found here.

Fulop is widely considered to be a contender for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2017, or sooner if Governor Chris Christie does not complete his term.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Amy Handlin, Chris Christie, Jersey City, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature, Port Authority, Steve Fulop | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

More Regulations for NJ Businesses

By Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

This past week, the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly both passed the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” which prohibits businesses with more than 14 employees from asking applicants to check a box to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime.  Additionally, businesses would be prohibited from asking first-time interviewees if they’ve been convicted of a crime.

It has been reported that NJ Governor Chris Christie’s office worked with the legislators on the language of the bill; thus, Christie is expected to sign the bill into law.

New Jersey is already one of the least business-friendly states in the United States.  According to the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, NJ was the 2nd least business-friendly state – based on over 100 criteria – and ranked at the bottom in income taxes, corporate taxes, sales tax and property tax.  And this ranking does not account for the Democrat-controlled legislature’s zeal to increase the “millionaire’s tax” that affects far more people making less than a million dollars a year than people making more than that.

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Posted: June 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Kyrillos’s “Drew’s Law” Will Save Kids Lives

"Drew's Law" is named for 11 year-old Drew Keough Cerrata. The boy was killed in a motor vehicle accident last April

“Drew’s Law” is named for 11 year-old Drew Keough Cerrata. The boy was killed in a motor vehicle accident last April

Legislation proposed by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-Bergen and Hudson), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, would lower speed limits to 15 mph on roads adjacent to or passing through parks when they are open or when children are present.  Violators would face fines of between $100 and $400, double the current amount.

Dubbed “Drews Law,” the legislation is named Drew Keough-Cerreta, the 11 year-old Keansburg boy killed last April by a vehicle that was apparently traveling at the 25 mph speed limit.

“The Keansburg community is still reeling from this terrible loss,” said Kyrillos .  We must make sure the roadways around parks give our children the utmost safety. The time to do that is now. Slowing traffic is a small price to pay and I thank members of Drew’s family and others for their input on this important measure.”

Joseph W. Pezzano, Drew’s uncle and a 29 year veteran of the Keansburg Police Department, was on duty and answered the call when his nephew was struck.

In a statement issued in support of the legislation, Pezzano said,

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Posted: June 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Joe Kyrillos, Keansburg, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kyrillos: “Millionaires Tax” hurts the poor and middle class

By Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.

Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.

Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.

Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.

As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.

It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.

The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”

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Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — No one wants to be the politician who guts spending, raises taxes or reneges on a promise. But thanks to Gov. Chris Christie and a sluggish economic recovery in New Jersey, those are the choices facing Democratic leaders in the state Legislature…

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prieto says he and Christie have found ‘common ground’ on renewal of key property tax law

Prieto says he and Christie have found ‘common ground’ on renewal of key property tax law (via NJ.com)

TRENTON ‐ After a two-and-a-half-month stalemate, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Gov. Chris Christie have reached “common ground” on renewing a crucial law that mayors say has taken a significant bite out of property tax growth…

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Posted: June 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes, Vincent Preito | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Assembly bill would make sex with animals a crime

A bill that criminalizes bestiality passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday by a 6-0 bipartisan vote.

Rhino

Illustration by Megan Archer

 Use, or cause or procure the use of, an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner or initiate any kind of sexual contact with the animal or creature, including, but not limited to, sodomizing the animal or creature.  As used in this paragraph, “sexual contact” means any contact between a person and an animal by penetration of the penis or a foreign object into the vagina or anus, contact between the mouth and genitalia, or by contact between the genitalia of one and the genitalia or anus of the other.  This term does not include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice.

Penalties for those convicted include fines up to $15,000 and imprisonment for as long as five years. Additionally, the bill directs the courts to impose Community Service for up to 30 day at a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a municipality”s animal control program.  Is that a good idea?

Posted: June 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

Approved NJ Senate bills call for agencies to buy American products

Approved NJ Senate bills call for agencies to buy American products (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate today approved a package of bills that calls for state agencies and bi-state commissions, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to buy products made in America. If approved by the Assembly as well…

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Posted: June 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

A crazy June: Things to look out for in Trenton this month

A crazy June: Things to look out for in Trenton this month (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Hold onto your seats. It’s June in Trenton, and that’s always a bumpy ride. With the state budget due by month’s end, horse-trading is rampant as just about everything that was proposed all year long under the Statehouse dome is up…

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Posted: June 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Legislature, NJ Courts, NJ Democrats, NJ Judiciary, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Sweeney in Sea Bright: “Republicans Shaming Themselves” Over Sandy Bill of Rights

Beck: “Hubris and Ego have no place in this recovery process. We have all made some mistakes. Now we need to fix them.”

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey's gutted living room prior to Sweeney's press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey’s gutted Sea Bright home prior to Sweeney’s press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney held a politically charged press conference in a partially gutted Sea Bright home this morning, ostensibly to create political pressure on Republicans in the State Legislature to join Democrats in overriding Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of the Sandy Bill of Rights.

Sweeney’s comments sounded like a campaign rally against Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, JR.

The “Sandy Bill of Rights” passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously in March.  Christie conditionally vetoed the bill earlier this month, making over 150 changes to it.  Some of the changes were to bring the law into compliance with federal Housing and Urban Development regulations, others removed what Christie called “partisan language.”  One of Christie changes removed the requirement on the State that applicants for RREM grants be able to access the status of their applications online.

Sweeney penned an OpEd published in The Asbury Park Press last week wherein he appealed to Republican legislators who had unanimously voted for his bill “to do something they have yet to do under this (Christie) administration, and that’s to put aside their partisanship and override the governor’s veto.”

O’Scanlon responded with an OpEd of his own, wherein he said, “after further analysis we found a number of critical flaws that the Governor wisely and reasonably addresses in his conditional veto.”

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Declan O'Scanlon, Dina Long, Hurricane Sandy, LD 13, Legislature, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »